5: FATHERHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD, SHARING IN THE CREATIVE
POWER OF GOD
1. Opening song/hymn
2. The Lord's Prayer
3. Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God."
4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:
With the creation of man and woman in his own image and likeness, God crowns and brings to perfection the work of his hands: He calls them to a special sharing in his love and in his power as Creator and Father through their free and responsible cooperation in transmitting the gift of human life: "God blessed them, and God said to them, 'be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'" (Genesis 1: 28).
Thus the fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to actualize in history the orginal blessing of the Creator - that of trasmitting by procreation the divine image from person to person (cf. Genesis 5: 1-3).
Fatherhood and motherhood are themselves a particular proof of love; they make it possible to discover love's extension and original depth. But this does not take place automatically. Rather, it is a task entrusted to both husband and wife...Experience teaches that human love, which naturally tends towards fatherhood and motherhood, is sometimes affected by a profound crisis....
(Fatherhood and motherhood are) the fruit and the sign of conjugal love, the living testimony of the full reciprocal self-giving of the spouses: "While not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Saviour, who through them will enlarge and enrich his own family day by day." (Gaudium et Spes, 50)
However, the fruitfulness of conjugal love is not restricted solely to the procreation of children, even understood in its specifically human dimension: It is enlarged and enriched by all those fruits of moral, spiritual and supernatural life which the father and mother are called to hand on to their children, and through the children to the Church and to the world. Indeed children are the supreme gift of marriage and greatly contribute to the good of the parents themselves. (cf. Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio, Gratissimam Sane)
5. The Bishop's Reflection
What and where is the root of the dignity of the parents' mission in transmitting life?
Why are children the supreme gift of marriage that greatly contribute to the good of the parents themselves?
What are the human and Christian motives for carrying out this task of parenthood?
8. Psalm 94 (95)
"Sing a new song to the Lord."
9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.
10. Prayer for the Family
11. Final song/hymn
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